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  1. #1
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    advice please! - seat tilt

    Hey ya'll...please help me out here with some advice...

    I've changed my position on the bike quite a bit in the last 5 years or so. I used to have my seat height very high and fairly forward on the rails (or at least in the middle). I did this b/c it made my low back feel better. Unfortunately, I had to tilt the nose of the seat quite a bit down to get comfortable. I tilted it down so that on steep climbs I could sit towards the front of the saddle comfortably and spin up those steep climbs. The problem with this position is that my weight wasn't balanced very well especially for riding flats or descending. Because of the forward tilt, I was kind of being pushed forward by gravity. When descending, the seat was often in the way and it just didn't feel right.

    Now, I would guess my seat is 2-3 cm lower and 1.5-2 cm more rearward. I feel much, much more balanced especially when riding the flats or descending. And the seat is level (or as close as I could get it). The problem comes in for steep climbing. If I scoot up toward the front of the saddle, it's d@mn uncomfortable...and I either have to scoot back or get my @ss off the seat altogether. This takes a lot more energy for me to climb this way.

    What do ya'll do about this on steep climbs? Do you scoot forward on the saddle on steep climbs? Do you have your seat level? Should I just get used to getting my @ss off of the saddle on the steep climbs?

    Thanks !!!

  2. #2
    AZ
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    Try a different seat that has a wider nose. A level or slightly nose up saddle is perfectly normal. Fwiw, climbing while seated on the nose of the saddle is usually not all that comfortable but a seat change could help.

  3. #3
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    So are you able to climb super steep climbs seated? Or should I not expect to be able to do this like I had in the past?

  4. #4
    AZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by mforness3000 View Post
    So are you able to climb super steep climbs seated? Or should I not expect to be able to do this like I had in the past?



    Sure, right up to the point that I have to stand and mash. I use a saddle with a fairly wide nose, it really does help.

  5. #5
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    What saddle do you use?

  6. #6
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    If money is no object, you could try one of these with the dropped nose...


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  7. #7
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    The seat should be leveled to the ground or with the nose slightly higher, look for saddles with a flexible nose like the Selle Italia ProLink or one of those with lowered nose like the Selle Evolution pictured above.


  8. #8
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    so, more to the point, let me ask this...on super steep climbs...climbs where you can just barely keep going in the granny gear...do you: a) sit where you regularly do on the seat, b) scoot up towards the nose, c) stand

    I have always done b...but in order for me to sit on the very tip of the saddle, I have to have it point down a bit...and even then I have to sit off to one side or the other on the nose (as I'm sure you can imagine)...

    but again tilting the seat down leads to other problems...and I don't want to do that anymore...should I figure out a new way to climb those super steeps? try a new saddle? I've been running the same wtb silverado for years now...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mforness3000 View Post
    but again tilting the seat down leads to other problems...and I don't want to do that anymore...should I figure out a new way to climb those super steeps? try a new saddle? I've been running the same wtb silverado for years now...
    Slide back on the saddle. It'll allow you to apply more torque to the pedals. And then you want to bend over at the waist, so that your chest is nearly parallel to the ground, with your elbows dropped and loose. This will allow you to weight the front of the bike and keep both wheels squarely on the ground.
    I've made some bad decisions like taking the gears off my bike. So here's the warning: Do not as I say, nor as I do.

  10. #10
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    I use the body positioning mentioned in the post previous to this one. In addition, I sometimes shift to a harder gear on steeper technical climbs. I find that allows me to apply more power to the pedals without spinning my gear out. I shift before the terrain requires it. I find myself continually balancing between weighting the front and rear of the bike as the contours of the climb change. If I stand up it is only for short strenuous bursts during a climb. When standing I will sometimes pull up hard on the handle bars to get the rear wheel to really hook up. But I only stand to climb over a difficult obstacle and not the whole climb. My seat is set level.

  11. #11
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    That's some good advice. Thank you.

  12. #12
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    Due to the complex curves on a saddle it's not always easy to set it level (or slightly nose up) by eye. I lay a hardback book on the saddle and use a spirit level. If you've got a modern smart phone there's a good chance you can download a spirit level app for free.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by erik1245 View Post
    Slide back on the saddle. It'll allow you to apply more torque to the pedals. And then you want to bend over at the waist, so that your chest is nearly parallel to the ground, with your elbows dropped and loose. This will allow you to weight the front of the bike and keep both wheels squarely on the ground.
    My saddle is slightly nose-up. WTB Rocket V Race ($40)
    I try to bend at the waist and keep my pelvis at the same angle (more or less).

    Shifting from the back of the saddle to the nose allows me to use different leg muscles.

    It is a known fact that sitting more "over" the cranks allows you to spin faster/smoother. I might do this on longer climbs that require a constant aerobic effort.

    If you are sitting to rear of the saddle, putting the cranks slightly in front of you, you can generate more power, but fast spinning is less smooth. I understand that in that position your weight is slightly farther back and may hinder your steering or steep climbing ability.

    Standing and mashing is limited by your capacity for anaerobic exertion. On short climbs I will just hammer it out.

    Somewhere in there is a happy medium in saddle position that offers you a range of movement that is comfortable and useful. You can shift your weight to use different muscles as you fatigue on a climb, as well as shift weight to balance your climbing traction. I might shift back and forth several times on long climbs depending on whether there is a few pedal strokes to "rest" (relatively speaking), or somewhere that offers really good traction that doesn't require such careful weight balance.

    And it may just come down to anatomy (or you need new shorts? ) and maybe a different saddle would suit you better.

    -F

  14. #14
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    I personally like my saddle (laser v) angled ever so slightly downward to keep pressure off my junk. No problem at all on steep climbs. Just use a bubble level to make sure you don't overdo it.

  15. #15
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    Second what AZ was saying. It's not comfortable, but basically you should jam the nose of the seat into yer arse on steep climbs.
    A couple mentioned running seat tilted back, this can cause back problems and I'm not sure why you'd do it except on a dj bike. With the seat tilted back your pelvis rotates back, causing a curve and strain to your lower spine.
    Tilted forward is no fun as it puts excess weight on your hands and wrists.
    Keep it level; On the steep climbs it'll be uncomfortable with the saddle nose in your butt. If it's too bothersome get a saddle with a wider nose or bent as pictured above. Or get a thicker chamois.
    "...like sex with the trail." - Boe

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mforness3000 View Post
    so, more to the point, let me ask this...on super steep climbs...climbs where you can just barely keep going in the granny gear...do you: a) sit where you regularly do on the seat, b) scoot up towards the nose, c) stand

    I have always done b...but in order for me to sit on the very tip of the saddle, I have to have it point down a bit...and even then I have to sit off to one side or the other on the nose (as I'm sure you can imagine)...

    but again tilting the seat down leads to other problems...and I don't want to do that anymore...should I figure out a new way to climb those super steeps? try a new saddle? I've been running the same wtb silverado for years now...
    How long are these "super steep climbs?" I've always been a stand and climb kind of rider, I once tried shifting to a super easy gear and sitting/spinning my way up a steep hill but I just couldn't do it; too slow, too much work for too little reward. BUT I've never ridden anywhere with long sustained climbs so I don't know anything about climbing them. I also like the full body workout I get from standing and mashing my way up a steep climb, gets my arms, lats, and core involved not to mention getting up the hill faster.

  17. #17
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    The WTB SST is your saddle--specifically designed for scooting forward onto the nose when climbing--the nose is wide for comfort and slightly elevated to maintain your saddle to pedal distance.

    You should run your saddle as level as possible--anything more than a few degrees of tilt up or down is an indicator of an unsuitable saddle (for your particular anatomy) or a bike fit issue.

  18. #18
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    I've always given folks the same basic info, it doesn't feel like a position I want to hang out in all day, but when climbing a super steep section, yes, I am essentially "hover violating" myself with the nose of the saddle.

    I run 'em a bit nose high. I've not found a level to be what I need, I simply raise it till it feels like it's supporting my pelvic floor properly. Everybody is built a bit differently, but with the nose higher, you settle towards the back of the saddle, so you aren't fighting gravity down onto the nose as you are now.

    Padded shorts help (shocker, I know) then yes, try a different seat, just don't expect any of them to make the self inflicted sodomy feel really great.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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